Members of the Guardian Angels will meet with Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez on Thursday to discuss formalizing a relationship between the volunteer safety patrol and city officials.
The Guardian Angels were invited into the North End of Hartford by local residents concerned over a rise in shootings. The city has more cops on the streets these days, but Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa says they haven’t found a way to stop street fights from turning violent. "If you look at the 22 shootings in the last 3 weeks, most of the victims who survived, the first words they said to the police is 'We’re not cooperating. We’re not telling you who did it'. And that means they’re going to take care of business their way, which is revenge, retribution and then the cycle of violence continues."
Sliwa says Guardian Angels can help law enforcement by earning the trust of community members, and then working with police to stop crime.
Members of the volunteer safety patrol are known for their signature red berets and sateen jackets. They patrol streets unarmed and are trained to make citizen arrests. There are Guardian Angels chapters in 86 cities in the US, including New Haven.